Marion Boy Scout camp damaged in fire, equipment destroyed

Mar 8, 2023

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 

MARION — Supplies, equipment and two buildings used by Boy Scout Troop 32 at Camp Hadley in Marion were damaged in a brush fire on Wednesday, March 8.

The Marion Fire Department responded to the blaze at approximately 12:16 p.m. with mutual aid from Mattapoisett, Rochester, Wareham and Onset Fire Departments, according to a post on the Marion Fire / EMS Facebook page.

“The neighbor was burning some pinecones,” said Troop 32 Scoutmaster Paul St. Don. “It was windy, the fire got away from him and came across to Camp Hadley property.”

The official cause of the fire is still under investigation.

According to St. Don, one person was injured in the fire, but the camp was not in use at the time and no boy scouts were harmed.

“We want to send out our best wishes to him and his family for a speedy recovery,” said St. Don, referring to the man who was injured.

The Troop’s main cabin, which was used as a meeting place, bunk room and kitchen was damaged along with the Troop’s storage shed.

“One is a complete loss and the other has significant damage on one side,” he said.

According to St. Don, the buildings housed the troop’s gear and supplies including an antique Royal Canadian mounted cargo canoe.

“To me, that canoe was huge,” he said.

“All the scout supplies are gone, tents, sleeping bags, klondike sleds and soap box derby cars,” said Zora St. Don, a trustee of the Camp Hadley Trust. “They’re going to have to start from scratch.”

A GoFundMe page was created by Kristen Guevara to “restore and recover” the camp, which has been in use since 1941.

As of 8 p.m. on March 8, $100 has been donated to the fundraiser out of a $25,000 goal.

According to Zora St. Don, St. Gabriel’s Church in Marion has offered its community room as a meeting spot for the scouts of Troop 32 until they find a more suitable home.

“Hopefully as the weather gets warmer, we can set up a temporary electrical service, we can set up some tents so the kids can meet outside,” she said. “But right now it’s too cold and rainy.”